Greek tourism body offers to hire retirees and teachers to fill staffing shortages


The Hellenic Confederation of Tourist Accommodation Entrepreneurs (SETKE) proposes that the government recruit retirees and teachers to fill staffing shortages at tourist facilities across the country at the start of the season.

Greek authorities have stepped up efforts to address staff shortages in tourism after the former president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Andreas Andreadis made headlines in April. According to reports, more than 50,000 jobs were still open in the spring before the season.

In a letter to the Ministry of Labour, SETKE stresses that the issue poses a “tremendous risk” to the country’s global reputation and that despite efforts, incentives and announced salary increases, the problem remains unresolved.

As a solution, SETKE suggests hiring retirees (recent retirees) and teachers who are on summer vacation to cover positions so that tourism businesses are ready for the growing demand this summer. According to SETKE, young retirees and teachers on leave have expressed interest in working.

“The Department of Labor should provide incentives in order to fill these jobs by the aforementioned social groups at least for this year’s tourist season with immediate legislative coverage and until a final solution is found,” SETKE said.

Lack of staff was also an issue in 2021, when, according to Institute of Tourism Research and Forecasting (ITEP) and Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) research and data22% or one in five positions in hospitality businesses were vacant.

Across the country, during the peak summer last year, 53,249 jobs remained unfilled out of a total of 244,124 jobs available. More than half of vacancies were for waiters and waitresses, receptionists, busboys, laundry, baristas and technical support, and maintenance, with the highest demand for housekeeping (7,303 vacancies representing 14 % of total vacancies).

The position reporting the greatest shortage of available openings was Sommelier, followed by Assistant Receptionist, Marketing Manager and Guest Relations Manager.

Last month, authorities invited tourism businesses to declare vacancies for the period June-Augustto the Public Employment Service (DYPA), which will in turn recommend qualified people to its ranks by June 15.

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